• Published 25th Dec 2019
  • 785 Views, 12 Comments

Lyra & Bon Bon: Big Mares on Krampus - The Hat Man

Newlyweds Lyra and Bon Bon want to spend a quiet Hearth's Warming together. A holiday-themed monster and Bon Bon's old monster-hunting agency have other plans for the pair...

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Part III

A short while longer, the Krampus hummed a little tune and set down the bag, saying “Here we are: cavern sweet cavern!”

His hoof-like hand reached into the sack and pulled them out one-by-one. Their momentary relief at no longer being confined quickly gave way to terror and struggling, but no amount of kicking, biting, or otherwise seemed to deter the Krampus.

He reached in and pulled out Bon Bon, then Lyra and the two of them were tossed into black, bell-shaped cages that shut and locked behind them. Lyra looked and saw that, though they were in separate cages, fortunately they’d been placed right next to each other.

“Are you okay, Bon Bon?” she asked.

“Yes, but… Lyra, look!” Bon Bon said, her eyes wide as she took in their surroundings.

Lyra looked as well and saw that they were in a massive cavern filled with cages similar to their own. The Krampus was going around and quickly filling them. Dozens and dozens of ponies from Ponyville were imprisoned here along with them.

Starlight and Trixie and a few others immediately tried to teleport out or blast the lock off, but though their magic now worked, it could not penetrate outside the cage and merely dissipated once it hit the narrow bars.

“You waste your time, ponies,” the Krampus chided, wagging a bony finger at them. “Cages are impervious to magic and too strong for earth ponies to kick open. Try if you must, but you will see that Krampus speaks the truth!”

“What is the meaning of all this!” Starlight shouted. “Why did you bring us all here?!”

The Krampus sniffed. “I take it you talk about me while in sack, yes?” he asked. “Then you know that I punish the naughty foals.”

“But we’re not foals!” Trixie protested. “And we’re not naughty! ...You know, most of the time. Or at least not that naughty. Or at least not all of us are.”

The Krampus grunted and smacked Trixie’s cage with his bundle of sticks. “You talk too much, little unicorn. But very well, if you want explanation, I give you one…”

He waited until he had the rapt attention of all the ponies around the cavern.

“Think he’ll break into a song?” Lyra whispered.

“Shh!” Bon Bon hissed.

“Long ago,” the Krampus began, “I was one of many creatures fashioned by the evil Grogar. He gave me such great powers, including ability to smell the sins of others, and the sight to see each misdeed. But I had no interest in terrifying ponies for Grogar, so I left to live alone in wilderness. For long time, it was just me. But then one day, strange visitor came to me. He called himself… Santa Hooves.”

Spoiled Rich guffawed loudly.

“You shut pointy snooty face or Krampus whip you so hard that little pony butt cheeks will resemble baboon’s!” he shouted, pointing his stick bundle at her.

Spoiled fell silent, her mouth shut tight and her eyes bulging.

“Now, where was I… ah, yes…

“Santa Hooves learned of what I could do and took me to his toyshop in frozen north. He say that he want to reward good little fillies and colts with toys and treats on Hearth’s Warming, but he worry that maybe bad little fillies and colts need a bit more… motivation. So he take me in, we go out, and we visit all the little households. He fill good foals’ stockings; I make them fill their little drawers. Heh. All goes well for long, long time.” He paused, smiling. “Santa Hooves was Krampus’s first real friend. We make good team, and he let me stay in nice warm house, drink cocoa, and every Hearth’s Warming, we ride out to do our jobs. Never was I happier.”

Then, slowly, the joy drained from his face, and he visibly sagged. “Then I think ‘What if scaring ponies and threatening with switch not enough? What if I give them real scare! That make them behave for sure!’ So, I start whipping across backsides. I threaten to eat, but I never actually do it! I start taking up the naughtiest ones in big sack. I become most terrifying monster in all of Equestria, and parents have me to thank for little ones behaving like little angels for rest of year!” He thumped his chest proudly.

“But Santa Hooves is furious! He tell me that I cannot do these things anymore. I did not hit ponies too hard! I only take ponies in sack to scare them! Sometimes pretend to let them escape or just dunk in river and take right back home or threaten to eat if they do not change naughty ways… but Santa Hooves does not listen. We argue, have big fight and… and then…”

He heaved a sigh. “And Krampus is no more. Krampus is no longer invited on Hearth’s Warming ride. I go back to wilderness to live alone once more.”

“That’s really sad,” Lyra said.

“Yes, naughty pony, it is,” the Krampus said, bowing his head. “But I always keep watch on Equestria. Mostly I just keep to myself, but then, in recent years, I see all these villains try to take it over! I wonder, ‘Where all these naughty villains coming from?’ And then I realize that nopony is afraid to grow up to be naughty any longer! Some one should bring back fear!

“Now, by taking all these naughty ponies from one town, legend of Krampus will rise again!” he exclaimed, raising his arms triumphantly. “Children will grow up hearing tales of Krampus, and then no more villains will dare to be naughty ever again!”

The cavern stared on in silence.

“What?” the Krampus asked, looking around dejectedly. “No applause? Hmph, fine. Next time perhaps I should sing song.”

“But wait just a second!” Sunburst shouted. “You say you want to punish ‘naughty ponies.’ Like Trixie said, we’re not bad ponies! Why punish us?”

Krampus shook his head. “You think yourselves innocent? You are steeped in sins up to your fetlocks!”

“What possible sins could you be speaking of, you horrid brute?!” Octavia shouted.

“You want me to list them? In front of all other friends?” the Krampus asked. “Very well…”

He pointed at Trixie. “Egocentrism and abuse of magical artifact!” He pointed at Bulk Biceps: “Improper volume control!”


The Krampus began pointing at more of them.

Doctor Hooves: “You forget important events because you are too busy in lab!”

“B-but, my experiments—”

At Derpy: “Carelessness with packages!”

Derpy shrugged. “Everypony makes mistakes!”

Octavia: “Snootiness!”

“Well, I never!”

Spoiled Rich: “Greedy elitist!”

“Whatever the fine is, I’ll pay it!”

Cranky Doodle: “Grouchiness!”

“Oh, go soak your head! And couldn’t you find a bigger cage?!”

Mud Briar: “Being a smarty-pants!”

“Technically, the word is ‘pedantry.’”

Maud Pie: “Liking this smarty-pants!”

Maud looked over at Mud Briar and smirked. “That’s fair.”

Then the Krampus looked over at Starlight Glimmer. “And you, Miss Starlight, are so naughty that I am ashamed that I didn’t come for you until now!” he yelled. “You are guilty of brainwashing, abuse of magic, and violating rules of time and space for petty revenge!”

Starlight’s jaw dropped open. She sank to her haunches and lowered her head.

“Hey, you leave her alone!” Trixie shouted. “Starlight’s changed! She’s done a lot of good things and more than made up for everything she did! Even Twilight Sparkle knows that she’s a changed pony, and - even if the Great and Powerful Trixie hates to admit it - she’s a great judge of character.”

“Bah!” the Krampus grunted. “Sin is sin. If it is not punished, it still exists. Now, enough chit-chat… who is first to get backside paddled raw with sticks?”

“Me!” Octavia shouted, raising a hoof.

The entire cavern went silent.

“Ah, that is… um…” Octavia trailed off, her face turning red.

“Well, I guess we learned something new about her,” Bon Bon mumbled.

“Whoa whoa whoa!” Lyra cried out. “All those things you talked about are things we’ve all moved on from! And most of them are just minor things! Nopony should be locked up for them!”

The Krampus paused for a moment, then went over to her cage. “Sin is sin,” he growled. “Naughty is naughty. There is no ‘minor’ thing.”

“You get away from her!” Bon Bon growled, reaching for him through the bars of her cage.

“You two… you so cute and all lovey dovey,” he said, crossing his arms. “But you build your house on buried secrets. Bon Bon never told you, Lyra, about old life until she had to, yes? And still she keeps fears secret and even lies to herself about them. Perhaps if you had been honest, you would have prepared for me properly.”

Bon Bon swallowed and looked down, knowing he was right.

“But little sweet Lyra… you never tell your new wife that you keep sneaking bites of her candies or cupcake batter when she looks away…”

Lyra blushed. “I… have a bit of sweet tooth, sure, but that’s—”

“And you never tell her about Cloud Chaser.”

Lyra froze.

“Cloud Chaser?” Bon Bon asked. “Lyra… what is he talking about?”

“Heh,” the Krampus sneered. “She—”

“No!” Lyra said sternly. “I’ll tell her.”

Bon Bon looked at her. Lyra felt a lump in her throat as she looked back into those deep, blue-green eyes.

“I… well, about a month into our, uh, relationship back when I’d just moved to Ponyville… I kissed Cloud Chaser at a party.”

Bon Bon blinked. “I… what?”

“I’m sorry!” Lyra said. “It was just once, I’d had too much cider, I felt horrible about it and nothing else ever happened!”

Bon Bon sighed. “I don’t really care about that, Lyra, not after all we’ve been through,” she said. “I just… I just wish you’d told me.”

The Krampus snickered. “Ahh, you two really are perfect couple,” he said. “So close, and yet so many secrets hiding.”

“Look, yes, I wish she’d told me,” Bon Bon said, “but now I know, and I’m not upset.”

Lyra brightened. “You’re not?”

“No, of course not!” she said. “So let her go! Do you understand? I don’t want her punished!”

The Krampus tilted his head at her. “That is not important,” he said. “Only way to expunge your misdeeds is punishment.” He turned to the rest of the cavern, raising his voice. “But don’t worry, my little ponies… I am certain that I can properly punish you all and have you all back to your homes by, say, next Hearth’s Warming!”

A chorus of protests went up at the thought of spending the next year locked up in this cavern.

“Yes, yes, is very sad for you,” the Krampus said, rolling his eyes. “Ah, but I have lost track of time. Perhaps just one more run through Ponyville to collect more naughty ponies.”

He picked up his sack and started toward the entrance. “Now don’t you naughty ponies go anywhere!” he laughed, dashing off into the night.

As the cavern fell into a state of panic around them, Bon Bon slumped against the bars of her cage.

“Great… just great,” she sighed, feeling a lump in her throat. “Our first married Hearth’s Warming… our first year of marriage… and we get to spend them locked up in a cage. Not even in the same cage! Oh… oh, Lyra, I’m so—wait, what the buck are you doing?!”

Lyra appeared to be vigorously fluffing her mane, coming through it with her hooves like she had a bee in it.

“Lyra, I hardly think this is the time for mane maintenance,” Bon Bon said.

“Yeah, but it’s probably just the right time for an escape attempt,” she said, bringing out the candy piece she’d hidden in her mane, giving a sly wink.

“Lyra! That caramel’s a plastique explosive!” Bon Bon gasped.

“Exactly!” she said, wedging it into the lock. “Now, I think I can ignite it with my magic, since my magic still works inside the cage.” Her horn began to glow as she aimed it at the lock. “Okay, here goes…”

The candy exploded with a sharp crack and the door to her cage flung open. All the cavern suddenly fell silent as they saw Lyra jump out onto the rocky floor.

“I made it!”

Everypony cheered loudly, turning the cavern into a cacophony.

“Okay, Bon Bon, I just need to get you free next!” Lyra exclaimed. She searched around for something heavy to help break the lock on Bon Bon’s cage and found a large rock. She bashed it against the door several times, but succeeded only in breaking the stone to pieces while the door remained intact.

“Lyra, listen,” Bon Bon said. “I’m not sure how long the Krampus will be gone. Here, take my watch communicator,” she said, passing it to her through the bars. “Go and try to radio for help. Bring everypony you can to come and save us!”

“Me?!” Lyra exclaimed. “B-but I don’t want to just leave you here!”

“The longer you take to escape, the more likely it is that the Krampus will catch you!” Bon Bon shouted. “Go!”



Lyra hesitated for a moment more, her lower lip quivering, but then she turned and ran toward the mouth of the cavern, taking the watch communicator with her.

Once outside, she saw that the cavern was deep inside a forest. A wild snowstorm was already in full force and fat snowflakes were swiftly covering the ground with a blanket of snow. She shivered in the cold and pressed the communicator.

Static. She was too far out to get a signal. She wasn’t sure which way to go, but the worst place she could be was right there where the Krampus could find her. With no other choice, she galloped off into the woods. With any luck, the snow would cover her tracks before the Krampus returned.

Over an hour later, Lyra had managed to find an exit to the woods and instead found herself trekking over white, rolling hills. She panted, her breath forming steam clouds as she trudged up another hill, hoping that she’d finally spot a village or somewhere safe.

She pressed her watch communicator for what felt like the hundredth time. “HQ come in… this is… this is Agent Heartstrings… please respond…”

More static.

“HQ, come in… I repeat, this is… hah… this is Agent Heartstrings…”

She came up over the hill. On the other side was simply an endless field with nothing but bare trees caked in snow. No cities were on the horizon. There were no villages. Not even a simple farm could be seen.

She was all alone, surrounded by endless white, her mint green coat the only spot of color in the vast, frozen wilderness.

“HQ… come… in…” she gasped. She took another step forward, but her legs gave out and she collapsed into the snow.

She was so cold, and the snow began to collect on her coat as if forming a blanket. Her eyes felt heavy. She was so tired… she just wanted to sleep…

“This is it,” she whispered, her eyes slowly shutting. “Bon Bon… I’m sorry… I wish I could make it up to you…”

She curled herself up into a ball, trying to hold onto what little warmth she had left.

“If I could have one gift for Hearth’s Warming… I’d just want to spend a quiet day with you… just like you wanted.”

She shut her eyes. The world went silent.

And yet, for some reason, she thought she heard a jingle bell.

“Well, now,” said a deep, sonorous voice as a hoof crunched into the snow next to her, “that certainly is a sincere wish. And I happen to hear such wishes the loudest, even if they’re whispered.”

“Who…?” Lyra asked weakly.

She felt herself being lifted from the snow and onto the speaker’s back. “Now, now, Lyra, let’s get you warmed up and then we can see about granting your wish…”

She looked up, and though her vision was blurry, she saw a red cap and long, branching antlers…

“Bah!” the Krampus grumbled as he paced the cavern floor. “How did that little unicorn escape?! My cages are perfect! Nopony can escape them!”

“Really?” Bon Bon asked, smirking. “Because it seems somepony did.”

The Krampus roared and stomped over to her cage.

“You! This is your doing! Tell me how she did it!”

Bon Bon smirked.

“You keep your silence? Very well, then,” he said, unlocking her cage and yanking her out roughly, “if your lovey dove has left you here, then you will take her punishment for her!”

He raised the bundle of sticks high over his head.

“Put. Her. Down. Now.”

The Krampus froze and slowly turned. The whole cavern gasped in awe.

A towering reindeer dressed in red with a flowing white beard and jingle bells around his neck stood at the entrance to the cave. Lyra peeked out from behind his long legs and waved at Bon Bon.

“So… you finally come to see old Krampus, eh, Kringle?” Krampus sniffed.

The reindeer nodded gently. “It’s been a long, long time, my friend,” he said.

“Wait,” Bon Bon gasped. “That can’t possibly be… are you really…?”

“Santa Hooves?” the reindeer asked, raising an eyebrow. “Oh, surely that must be a fairy tale, don’t you think? Ho ho ho…”

The cavern erupted in cheers.

“Silence!” the Krampus roared. “All of you, be silent!”

“Krampus,” Santa said gently, stepping towards him. “I understand how you feel, but you surely know this is wrong.”

“Bah!” the Krampus snorted, waving a hand dismissively. “You coddle all the little foals with your toys and your goodies. What is worst thing you ever do to bad ones? Coal in stocking? You never wanted to get your hooves dirty! You left me to do dirty work and everypony loves you, but they hate me. I would not mind, but when I try to do job even better, you toss me out like old fruitcake!

“Well, no more! I, the Krampus, will punish these naughty ones and absolve them of all their sins!”

Santa Hooves took a deep breath and went right up to him. “Well, then, my old friend, I have only one thing to say to you…”

And then, to everypony’s surprise, he bowed his head, even bending a knee.

“I’m sorry, Krampus.”

The Krampus gawked at him. “You… are?”

“Yes, I am,” he said. “Perhaps it was pride that kept me from seeking you out, or perhaps it was the vain wish that you’d simply moved on, but seeing what you’ve done makes me understand how deeply upset you must have been. But there’s no need to punish these ponies, no matter what they’ve done.”

“Oh?” the Krampus asked. “Then what can cleanse them of their misdeeds?”

Santa chuckled. “Ah, Krampus… you and I are of a different time. Reward the good and punish the bad: that was our philosophy. But not every good deed goes unrewarded, and not every bad deed need be punished. But if a bad deed is truly to be expunged, then you need only watch these two mares to find out how…”

He looked down at Lyra. She stepped forward, locking eyes with Bon Bon.

“Bon Bon… I’m sorry for not telling you about Cloud Chaser,” she said, placing her hoof on her heart. “And for eating your cookie dough batter without asking. Annnnd for not being more sensitive about what you wanted to do for Hearth’s Warming. Do you forgive me?”

Bon Bon’s eyes began to water. “Lyra… of course! You’re my very best friend and the pony I love best in the world. Why would I ever hold it against you? Just… do you forgive me for, well… all the secrets I’ve kept too?”

“Of course I do!” Lyra exclaimed.

“Bah!” the Krampus scoffed. “This again? The deed remains! Nothing can… can…”

He paused. His red eyes glowed, but he saw that the dark aura of sin he saw around them was rapidly dissipating.

“No… no, it is not possible…”

“Ponies of Equestria!” Santa called out. “Do you likewise renounce your grudges against each other? Do you choose to forgive, rather than punish?”

A chorus of emphatic agreement spread throughout the cavern. Pony turned to pony, offering apology and forgiveness for every misdeed that came to mind.

“No… no no no no no!” the Krampus shouted, dropping Bon Bon as he whirled around in a rage. “Without punishment, there is no absolution! Without fear, the sinner will sin! The naughty pony of today will become the villain of tomorrow! I must… I must…”

Santa put his hoof on the Krampus’s shoulder.

“Krampus,” he said, “I should have listened to you and tried harder to understand your concerns. Rather than casting you out, I should have found a way for you to keep working by my side. Perhaps, every once in a while, a good scare is exactly what a child needs to keep them on the straight path. So, my friend, will you forgive me of my misdeeds and let me make amends?”

The Krampus stared at him for a moment, blinking numbly. “I… I…”

Then he took on a fierce grin and dashed behind Santa, swiftly whacking his backside with the bundle of sticks, causing the reindeer to yelp in pain.

“Hahahaha!” the Krampus laughed. “Ahhh, apologies, Kringle, but I would not be myself if I did not do that at least once…

“But very well,” he said, holding out his bony, hoof-like hand, “I will forgive you, provided you do the same for me. Perhaps next year will be a better Hearth’s Warming for us both.”

Santa laughed in spite of his embarrassment and sore bottom and hoof-bumped the Krampus.

“Lyra, you did it!” Bon Bon cried, running to her and tackling her in a big hug.

“Me? Nah, it was a team effort,” she chuckled, looking up at her. Then she got a sly grin. “Hey, as long as we’re like this…”

Bon Bon grinned back and leaned in, her lips covered.

Santa elbowed the Krampus. “Krampus, if you wouldn’t mind?”

The Krampus roared at them both, raising the bundle of sticks threateningly. “No naughtiness!” he shouted.

The two mares separated and nodded instantly.

“Good,” Santa Hooves said. His antlers glowed and he cast a beam of magic at the watch communicator Lyra wore around her foreleg. “Now, while the Krampus frees the rest of your friends, I suggest you call your agency. And tell them to bring lots of memory-erasing mirrors… I’m afraid this incident is a bit too public for my taste.”

Lyra nodded. “Um, HQ, this is Agent Heartstrings reporting in…”

“Heartstrings?” Furlong asked. “What’s going on, what’s your status?!”

Lyra and Bon Bon exchanged a look.

“Uhhh, this might take a while…”

Bon Bon’s eyes gently fluttered open as she awoke in her bed the next morning. The soft light of dawn was just beginning to trickle in through the window.

A mint green foreleg draped over her and she felt Lyra’s muzzle press into her neck, her warm breath tickling her slightly.

“Looks like Santa got me my Hearth’s Warming wish,” Lyra chuckled. She leaned in close and planted several kisses on Bon Bon’s cheek.

“Mmm,” Bon Bon murmured, turning to face her and hold her close. “We should really get up.”

“Hm… nah,” Lyra said.

“No? Not for breakfast?”

“I’m not that hungry,” she said, her traitorous stomach gurgling.

“Oh? Not to open presents?”

“They’re not going anywhere.”

“Not even to find out what crazy cover story SMILE cooked up to explain everything that happened?”

“Ehh, we’ll find out soon enough.”

“Hmmm, well, in that case…” She leaned in for a kiss.

“Oh!” Lyra said, sitting up suddenly. “Wait! I do know of something worth getting up for!”

“Ugh,” Bon Bon groaned. “It better be…”

Lyra ran out of the room and down the stairs. There was some commotion in other parts of the house, but soon she returned carrying their Hearth’s Warming dolls in her magic.

“Lyra, I’ve seen those,” Bon Bon said.

“Ah, but I just remembered where I kept this!” Lyra exclaimed, holding up a second box. “I ordered this from Rarity and I meant to show it to you yesterday, but now that I remember where I put it, it’s time to show you!”

“Show me what?” Bon Bon asked impatiently as she sat up, rubbing her eyes.

Lyra had turned her back for a moment, but when she turned back around, Bon Bon saw what she’d done.

The two dolls bearing their likenesses were now each wearing a miniature white wedding dress.

Bon Bon’s eyes lit up. “O…”

“M…” Lyra added.

“Goodness!” they both finished together, laughing.

“Okay, okay, let’s go put them on the mantle,” Bon Bon said, getting up and trotting to the stairs.

“And then? Should we do something nice for Hearth’s Warming?”

Bon Bon smirked. “That… and then maybe something naughty.”

Lyra followed her, giggling like a schoolfilly. For that Hearth’s Warming and many to come, she knew, there would be ups and downs, good deeds and misdeeds, and time after time they’d make mistakes and have to forgive each other all over again.

And knowing that each would be there for one another through it all was truly the greatest Hearth’s Warming gift they could have asked for.



Merry Christmas, from The Hat Man!

Author's Note:

Happy holidays to you all! I hope you enjoyed this, my fifth annual holiday story! You can read my other ones at this bookshelf here!

Also, as a gift to my editors, this story has not been edited by anyone but me, so please forgive some rough spots. Thanks for reading!

By the way, here's the full cover image done by my longtime friend and collaborator, Greenfinger!

Comments ( 3 )

Just to make sure I'm not missing anything, was the change just breaking the story into three chapters and adding some author's note content in the first (and possibly some additional in the third, depending on whether I'm just not remembering the picture being there before)?

Yep. I'm also editing it a bit. I figured the length as a one shot might be deterring some folks from reading it, so I'm breaking it into bite-sized pieces. :raritywink:

Ah, thanks. :)
And good luck! That is indeed often a useful quality, I think
I am surprised it hasn't gotten more upvotes yet...

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